Tag Archives: Istanbul

Faces of Ortaköy.

Today’s a popular day to be in Ortaköy. Day-trippers are flocking to the waterfront. Outnumbered, the locals have made a hasty retreat to the fishmonger’s. Better let the tide ebb away. Only one thing is for sure: tomorrow, they’ll all … Continue reading

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Vapur abstraction.

There’s a concept I sometimes hear from my software engineer chums: abstraction, or the process of removing all sorts of attributes – be them physical, spatial, temporal – to get to the root of something (usually a system, since we’re … Continue reading

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Istanbul 6 AM

Les travestis vont se raser Les strip-teaseuses sont rhabillées Les traversins sont écrasés Les amoureux sont fatigués Or so sang Jacques Dutronc in his masterpiece Il est cinq heures, Paris s’éveille It’s 6AM in Istanbul, but we’re a couple of … Continue reading

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Away from the Golden Horn – what lies outside Istanbul’s centre (2/2).

Across the Bosphorus: Kuzguncuk. Istanbul, it can be argued, is a world of its own, and as in every self-respecting world you need a guide. Not a handbook, but someone who can direct you, offering insight and advice. Dante had … Continue reading

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The places in between: wanders through Fener and Balat.

I saw them from the above, a rare treat for a city like Istanbul, where landings seldom come from the north: huddled close together, squashed between the Golden Horn and the minarets of Ottoman mosques, were the houses and streets … Continue reading

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Out of the news and into real life: when terrorism strikes close by.

When travelling, there are a few risks one can manage. A bout of Delhi belly can be avoided by not having a salad (or by accepting the inevitability of trotters; after all, doing nothing is an alternative). Being mugged in … Continue reading

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A six-hour layover – snapshots of Istanbul in black & white

My inbound landed at 18:00. My outbound wasn’t due until some 6 hours later, at about half past midnight. Six hours that I could’ve spent wandering aimlessly through the airport corridors, boozing in a lounge, ending up – inevitably – … Continue reading

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Stray pets.

Recently, in some of my travels at the fringes of the European continent or in the Middle East, I stumbled upon many stray domestic animals. Even though I’ve always seen cats happily going about, minding their own business, the sight … Continue reading

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Hagia Sophia – a tour through an icon’s history

The Hagia Sophia museum has an entry price which is nothing short of a rip-off. Outside, you’ll be harassed by street sellers and impostors posing as guides. Inside it’ll be full of noisy and disrespectful people either yapping on their … Continue reading

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Overlooked places – Moda, Istanbul’s Asian side

“Çai tea Çai tea…” the litany resounds from aisle to aisle in the open deck of the ship, echoed above by the tremulous shrieks of seagulls trailing in our wake. The ferry waiter, immaculate in his white shirt and blue … Continue reading

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